Helping your own community comes with its own benefits, but there is a whole world out there that needs help. There are parts of the world that are far much less fortunate than us and could greatly benefit from eager and dedicated volunteers. Taking the time to help others outside of your borders is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. When choosing to volunteer overseas, there are a few tips you should follow:
Always Be Prepared
When heading abroad, it’s imperative to be as prepared as possible. Especially if this would be your first time traveling overseas, preparing for the trip is crucial. Make sure to do extensive research on the volunteer program, the destination, budgeting, transportation, projects, and more. Take the time to ask as many questions as you can and getting the answers you need before committing to the overseas volunteer program.
Volunteering abroad means traveling overseas to work for free. Some of these projects can take weeks or evens months of time and commitment. Before volunteering abroad, make sure it is something you can afford to do. You need to pay for the airfare, vaccinations, visas, and the charge for the placement in the program itself. This charge will usually cover food, room and board, training, local transport, insurance, and background checks.
Fight the Right Project
There are many different projects that a program will have. When volunteering overseas, consider the different skills that you have and what program would benefit the most from it. For example, if you have a passion or an educational background in animals, consider volunteering for wildlife projects. If you are looking to pursue a career in teaching, opt for a project teaching English to children. This makes sure that the project you are volunteering for will greatly benefit from you being a part of it.
Respect All Cultures
When traveling across the world, you will be introduced to an entirely different way of living. Most volunteer projects take place in third world countries and you will be faced with an entirely different culture. It’s important to remember that you are there to lend a helping hand, not to take charge of their lives. Be respectful of their ways of living and be humble. Not only will this lead to better help them and their community, but it will also be an incredible learning experience for you.